Here’s why Steve Pearce is really mad about Zinke’s plan to change New Mexico’s monuments

Secretary Ryan Zinke is proposing big changes to New Mexico’s national monuments, but he didn’t recommend eliminating or shrinking and Rep. Steve Pearce is not happy about it. In a press release this morning, the congressman blasted Zinke’s recommendations, saying:
“Secretary Zinke’s recommendation fails to provide the solutions New Mexico needs. Since 2008, I have been working with the local community to establish a compromise that protects the Organ Mountains Desert Peak National Monument (OMDP) while preserving the multiple uses that public lands provide.” Here’s the full press release from Pearce:

[embeddoc url=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.progressnownm.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/10122802/Steve-Pearce-PR-on-monuments.pdf” download=”all”]

While the recommendation to not shrink Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks AND Rio Grande del Norte national monuments is a small victory, the proposed “management changes” in Zinke’s memos are still extremely worrisome. Read More: BREAKING: Zinke proposed to open NM monuments to corporate mining and other “traditional uses”

So, why is Pearce so mad? Pearce’s base in Dona Ana County is largely based on the rural ranching community who’ve fought against wilderness and the national monument initiatives for decades.

BREAKING: Zinke proposed to open NM monuments to corporate mining and other “traditional uses”

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a leaked version of Interior Secretary Zinke’s memo to Donald Trump with recommendations to significantly change at least six western public national monuments – including two here in New Mexico. Zinke has two plans for Trump: create new powers to let the president give away thousands of acres of public monument land, or turn monument land over to “other uses” to include mining and logging. Four western monuments in other states could be shrunk under the first proposal and here at home both the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument are on the list to be opened to up to corporate use, forever destroying our public lands. RELATED: Click here to see how Rep. Steve Pearce is REALLY mad that he lost the battle to shrink our national monuments. 
Zinke’s memo suggests that a “broader set of activities” be allowed within both OMDP and RGDN monuments. “It emphasizes the need to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of local officials or affected industries, saying the administration should permit ‘traditional uses’ now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing.”

JOIN US! We need all hands on deck to protect our National Monuments

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke will be touring areas around the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument later this week. It’s all part of his Trump-based agenda to “review” national monuments across the west that were created with the Antiquities Act. These important landmarks contain countless historical, scientific, and recreational resources for all Americans to enjoy and study while preserving our important past.

[WATCH] National Monument supporters tout nearly 100,000 comments in support of Organ Mountains

Over 97,000 individual comments were submitted to Trump’s secretary of the interior in support of current the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument designation, organizers announced on Monday as the comment period closed. ProgressNow New Mexico activists added more than 1,340 in the final weeks of the comment period.  PNNM worked with conservation groups around the state to help spread the word and add your story to those comments as well. Related: Comment pages overwhelmed in final hours, Final day to comment on national monuments designation | NM Political Report
PNNM also live-streamed the event from the Monument entrance on Monday:

Rumors of Secretary Zinke coming to visit New Mexico’s national monuments have been swirling since an exchange last month between he and Senator Martin Heinrich in a hearing. Our hope is that with the level of support for national monuments from around the state and a first-hand account will make an impact that even Zinke can’t ignore. The other elephant in the room is Monday’s announcement that Congressman Steve Pearce will be leaving behind his congressional seat in 2018 to run for Governor of New Mexico.

[BREAKING] Doña Ana BOCC rejects GOP “review” resolution, instead passes support in STRONG support of National Monument

After a marathon meeting Tuesday, Doña Ana County’s Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution in STRONG support of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The move was directly aimed at sending a clear message to those in Washington calling for a reduction in the sizes of national monuments.